Wander about Deming and wonder: do people in small towns just pray and save, as churches and banks seem excessive for population.
Down at county courthouse, become intrigued at blaring rock music, BBQ aroma, and a park gazebo decked out in patriotic bunting. Interrupt a quartet of middle-aged Hispanic-Indian American men and am told it’s a “feed” put on by local churches to reward/benefit “First Responders”. They seem bemused by my camera, but inquire if MY background includes emergency work (the size and toughness of their handshakes has already settled that: but they choose to be polite). Mention my cousin’s years with fire department which wins me an invitation to lunch. Decline ruefully dem ribs DO smell good!
Continue walking about their Historic District before realizing some years back spent time in this neighborhood. At Historic Seamen’s Field House – Old Custom House, Amanda pauses from her nail polishing long enough to ask exclusion from my photo
Head downtown, only to find sought-after Mimbres Brewery is out-of-business. A couple large signs along sidewalks offer a “walking guide”… but many historic buildings now seem to have lost some flavor. AM touched by a small shrine along wall of St Ann’s Church… several small vases of fresh flowers grace its shelves and am reminded again how valuable religion can be to some people.
Drive I-10 over to Las Cruzes and pause in Brannigan Library: big and beautiful. Get a bit disoriented and end up in a hillside community of small, tightly-packed, suburban-like homes of Telshor.
Finally, find my way back to North Main’s “Cultural District” (museums and theatres), but, except for a young man “sleeping it off” in a parklet, pedestrians seem in short supply. Delight in restored Rio Theatre embedded along narrow, tree-lined North Main Street, and find intriguing a small, undocumented “mirror-image” building which seems unused.
Am unclear how wall mural on Center for Spiritual Living fits in, and Stull building’s clever bas-relief remains a mystery.
Continue, on I-10, into El Paso: somehow, missed the turn-off to lovely Mesilla… but, must catch it on my return trip. Road construction reintroduces “road jammers”: those power-hungry types who zoom to the front of merging traffic and force their way in… can only hope Dante has a special level for them (with lawyers, maybe?) in Hell. A brief monsoon forces me to take refuge in Motel 6 which turns into a Mack Senett comedy: erratic Wi-Fi connection, eminently jamable door, etc. DO feel safe though: a night filled with screaming siren sounds headed for Children’s Hospital will do that for you.